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1. any process of reasoning from premises to a conclusion
2. Logic the specific mode of reasoning used



the mental activity that makes a connection between disparate thoughts, linking them in a set of premises and conclusions. It is by inference that the norms and categories of such connections, which are inherently present in the social or individual consciousness, are expressed on the level of “inner speech.” Indeed, these norms and categories themselves—in any given instance—constitute the psychological basis of inference; when they coincide with the rules and laws of logic, the inference is judged by its result to be equivalent to logical deduction, although generally speaking there is a qualitative difference between logical deduction and inference.

Logical deduction, as distinct from inference, rests on “external means”; it operates through the verbal (symbolic) recording of thoughts or through their formalization—that is, the codification of thoughts and representation of their connections by one or another formal language or system, such as calculus—with the goal of reducing to a minimum the subconscious, enthymematic, and elliptical elements of deduction and translating abstract or “convoluted” thought processes into the language of “images.” Furthermore, the “legitimacy” of inference need not necessarily be determined by logical norms. For example, an incomplete induction is precisely an inference and not a logical deduction, inasmuch as the connection between premises and conclusions in induction has a factual and psychological basis (as expressed in the well-known norms of generalization) but lacks a logical basis—that is, lacks those formal rules by which thinking proceeds from the particular to the general.

A further distinction is drawn between inference and reasoning: the latter is always a consciously willed mental activity, while an inference, in principle at least, can be both involuntary and an act of the subconscious.



The logical process by which new facts are derived from known facts by the application of inference rules.

See also symbolic inference, type inference.
References in periodicals archive ?
As a result, even though those who care about personal privacy are not willing to reveal their privacy, their personal information may be still inferred through such user interactions.
The aerial extent of the P7 Reef Inferred Resource is shown in Figure 2, and is restricted to the western portion of the Skaergaard Intrusion.
The court announced its adoption of the inferred intent rule in Pennsylvania for liability insurance cases involving the sexual abuse of a child by an insured adult.
Table 1: Sao Jorge indicate and inferred mineral resource (oxide and sulphide)* at various cut-off grades.
An initial Inferred Mineral Resource estimate for the Isthmus Region at Irvine Island has been completed by AMC Consultants Pty Ltd, Melbourne.
During the Fiscal Year 2006 EPL announced it and its joint venture partners have invested $4 million in exploration activity on 17 projects with 3 projects involving drilling activity, 2 of which were for expanding existing inferred resources.
Cautionary Note to US Investors concerning estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources This press release uses the term "inferred mineral resources".
Although assays have not yet been received, geologic logging of the 12 holes indicates that the El Capitan deposit has inferred boundaries to the north and south; these inferred boundaries define an overall east-west trend to the deposit.
7 million ounces of silver and inferred resources of 188.
93 g/t gold for an Inferred Resource of 1,043,000 ounces at Agi Dagi.
Giroux Consulting recently completed an initial mineral resource estimate of the project and calculated 217,000 indicated ounces of gold and 1,043,000 inferred ounces of gold along with 425,000 indicated ounces of silver and 4,697,000 inferred ounces of silver.